Asiatic Lion seeks the comfort of a shade in its enclosure at the Nehru Zoological Park as the temperatures are rising with the onset of summer in Hyderabad on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

At least eight lions at the Etawah Safari Park in the northern Indian state Uttar Pradesh have tested positive for COVID-19.

Authorities disclosed the news in a statement on on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

According to the authorities, the two lions had developed high temperatures before their samples were sent for testing.

They have since been kept in self-isolation with their health being monitored regularly and it is still unknown if the animals can transmit the disease to humans any further, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

This comes after eight Asiatic lions at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad, tested positive for Covid-19 in the country few days ago which led to the Union environment ministry to order the closure of all national parks, sanctuaries and national zoological parks in the country, CNN reported.

The Etawah Safari park has been closed to visitors due to the rise in Covid-19 cases across the state of Uttar Pradesh.

India’s second wave has hit its major cities and populous states hard. On Friday, the country’s most populous state recorded a seven day rolling average of 28,765 cases.

The government of Uttar Pradesh, the home to 200 million people, has been strongly criticized for the handling of the crisis. On Tuesday, the state’s top court described the deaths of COVID-19 patients due to lack of oxygen as a criminal act and not less than a genocide.

Meanwhile, India has a total number of 21,892,676 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a total of 238,270 recorded death due to the novel corona virus.

According to the health ministry, over 167 million vaccine doses have been administered in India with over 34 million having received their second dose, making 2.6% of India’s 1.3 billion population is fully vaccinated.

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